STREET art event Voices To Be Heard will be held at the Rye fairground between Christmas and the new year to focus community attention on youth suicide.
The event will be held at the Wittingslow Carnival by the Sorrento Activity Centre and Studio Sorrento in conjunction with Rosebud Secondary College. Money raised will go towards the college’s Youth Wellness Pavilion.
Organiser Pat Watt said she hoped a diverse group of young artists would create street art which will be hung and at times worked upon on the fencing around the fairground by young artists.
They will have been provided with specific size boards on which to paint.
Prizes will go to those judged first, second and third – including a first prize of $1000.
The street art concept was chosen because it provides a platform for “freedom of creative
expression in a modern form”.
It reflects the artists’ preference to communicate directly with the public at large, free from the perceived confines of the formal art world.
Artists sometimes present socially relevant content as a form of “art provocation”, which fits in well with the organiser’s concept of Voices to be Heard.
Sorrento Activity Centre’s Denise Potter said the community had been saddened by the news of several youth suicides on the southern peninsula.
“These traumatic deaths have resulted in questions being raised by all involved as to what more can be done to prevent this from happening again,” she said.
“The frightening reality is that no one in our community is immune from the impact of youth suicide. It may be it is connected to a family member, friend, or it may be just someone’s child that we know by association. Our community can do something to help.”
Ms Potter said Rosebud Secondary College was leading the way by establishing a Wellness Pavilion as “an innovative facility promoting the learning of positive mindfulness strategies for our youth and families in the Southern Peninsula”.
“It is a place of calm; of becoming the best version of yourself.”
Ms Potter said organisations like Headspace “provided support and safe centres for troubled youth”.
“We also know that young people need a place where they can feel connected with confidence when things get tough,” she said.
“Having a place that is local, managed by carers and advisors and being housed in a familiar environment may go a long way to giving our youth a place to go when they become overwhelmed with problems.
“Having a place where they feel confident in gaining support and understanding on their own level is crucial.”
Youth suicide prevention involved identifying emotional issues early, offering help and simply providing a place where they can talk freely is critical,” Ms Potter said.
“In this way we give them a Voice to be heard.”